Everything Else

Catherine Silverman covers the Yotes for The Athletic, as well as working as a goalie expert of In Goal Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @CatMSilverman. This is the Q&A we did with her a couple weeks ago when the Coyotes were here.

The Yotes have hung around the playoff picture, and yet they don’t have anyone who has scored over 42 points. Is this all or mostly Darcy Kuemper‘s resurgence?

So, let me preface this as saying that I think that Darcy Kuemper has been a really solid part of the team this year. He’s had his moments that put your heart in your throat, but he’s internalized the need to play well for the team’s playoff hopes and gotten the job done. 

That being said, I think that the biggest contributor to their success has been their scoring depth. They don’t have anyone over 42 points, but they have 11 players with 20 or more points and 10 players with 10 or more goals. In comparison, the Blackhawks have a 96-point getter, but also only have 10 players with 20 or more points — and they only have eight players with 10 or more goals. It’s why the Dallas Stars have a 61-point player in Tyler Seguin, but are still hanging around Arizona; they only have five players with 10 or more goals. 

While the more top-heavy teams live and die by the success of their stars, Arizona has been getting effective middle-six production from… well, everyone. Add in their injuries (if you project players like Schmaltz, Richardson, Galchenyuk, and Grabner onto an 82-game season, they’d all be sitting on much higher point totals) and their success makes a lot more sense. 

In my opinion

Look, we like Connor Murphy. We may be the only ones, but we’ll hold on. But we can’t help but notice the metrics that Niklas Hjalmarsson is turning in these days. Starting in his own zone most of the time, against the toughest competition, and turning it around. Is that to do with playing with Ekman-Larsson? Because Hammer was starting to turn here before the trade…

I think it has a bit to do with it, but Ekman-Larsson certainly isn’t propping Hjalmarsson up if that’s what you’re insinuating. Isolated on his own, Nik has been one of Arizona’s best players all year; he’s looking incredibly effective, and very much like the player that Chicago initially signed to his current deal. 

It’s possible that the rest from no playoffs last year combined with missed time for injury legitimately gave him enough rest to refuel his tank. Whatever it is, though, he’s looking fantastic.  

We were also Alex Galchenyuk fans and though Arizona got the better of that deal. He’s produced ok, been hurt a bit, but maybe not yet what we were thinking. What is he to someone who watches him far more?

He’s been exactly what the team traded for. After missing the start of the season for injury, he had a bit of a slow start — understandable when coming in with the season in full swing on a brand-new team. 

In the last few months, though, he’s been one of their best players. He’s excellent on the power-play, has 15 goals and 36 points in 57 games (which would be 43 points if he’d missed no time, putting him over that 42-point threshold), and has won 46 percent of his face-offs — his highest percentage in three years. 

Since February 1st, he’s put up seven goals and 11 points in 17 games. If he can continue to perform on the power-play like he has lately — and, frankly, continue to set up plays for Clayton Keller like he has been, even when it doesn’t get him a point on the board — he’ll continue to prove to be a fantastic add for the team. 

Three points out, game in hand on the Wild, 15 to go. Can the Yotes do it?

Three points out and two games in hand now, since the Wild forgot they were playing tonight. But I’d say at this point, it’s really anyone’s game — meaning that I won’t be putting money on Arizona, but I won’t be surprised at all if they make it either. 

Jason Demers is healthy again. Michael Grabner is healthy again. Antti Raanta is getting close. They’ve survived the first of potentially four to six weeks without Derek Stepan, and only lost one game in the process. I think if they put up the kind of performance they did down the back stretch last year, especially with Colorado losing one of their own top-heavy talents and Minnesota and Dallas struggling with consistency, they could easily slip their way in. 

 

Game #76 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Catherine Silverman covers the Yotes for The Athletic, as well as working as a goalie expert of In Goal Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @CatMSilverman. 

The Yotes have hung around the playoff picture, and yet they don’t have anyone who has scored over 42 points. Is this all or mostly Darcy Kuemper‘s resurgence?

So, let me preface this as saying that I think that Darcy Kuemper has been a really solid part of the team this year. He’s had his moments that put your heart in your throat, but he’s internalized the need to play well for the team’s playoff hopes and gotten the job done. 

That being said, I think that the biggest contributor to their success has been their scoring depth. They don’t have anyone over 42 points, but they have 11 players with 20 or more points and 10 players with 10 or more goals. In comparison, the Blackhawks have a 96-point getter, but also only have 10 players with 20 or more points — and they only have eight players with 10 or more goals. It’s why the Dallas Stars have a 61-point player in Tyler Seguin, but are still hanging around Arizona; they only have five players with 10 or more goals. 

While the more top-heavy teams live and die by the success of their stars, Arizona has been getting effective middle-six production from… well, everyone. Add in their injuries (if you project players like Schmaltz, Richardson, Galchenyuk, and Grabner onto an 82-game season, they’d all be sitting on much higher point totals) and their success makes a lot more sense. 

In my opinion

Look, we like Connor Murphy. We may be the only ones, but we’ll hold on. But we can’t help but notice the metrics that Niklas Hjalmarsson is turning in these days. Starting in his own zone most of the time, against the toughest competition, and turning it around. Is that to do with playing with Ekman-Larsson? Because Hammer was starting to turn here before the trade…

I think it has a bit to do with it, but Ekman-Larsson certainly isn’t propping Hjalmarsson up if that’s what you’re insinuating. Isolated on his own, Nik has been one of Arizona’s best players all year; he’s looking incredibly effective, and very much like the player that Chicago initially signed to his current deal. 

It’s possible that the rest from no playoffs last year combined with missed time for injury legitimately gave him enough rest to refuel his tank. Whatever it is, though, he’s looking fantastic.  

We were also Alex Galchenyuk fans and though Arizona got the better of that deal. He’s produced ok, been hurt a bit, but maybe not yet what we were thinking. What is he to someone who watches him far more?

He’s been exactly what the team traded for. After missing the start of the season for injury, he had a bit of a slow start — understandable when coming in with the season in full swing on a brand-new team. 

In the last few months, though, he’s been one of their best players. He’s excellent on the power-play, has 15 goals and 36 points in 57 games (which would be 43 points if he’d missed no time, putting him over that 42-point threshold), and has won 46 percent of his face-offs — his highest percentage in three years. 

Since February 1st, he’s put up seven goals and 11 points in 17 games. If he can continue to perform on the power-play like he has lately — and, frankly, continue to set up plays for Clayton Keller like he has been, even when it doesn’t get him a point on the board — he’ll continue to prove to be a fantastic add for the team. 

Three points out, game in hand on the Wild, 15 to go. Can the Yotes do it?

Three points out and two games in hand now, since the Wild forgot they were playing tonight. But I’d say at this point, it’s really anyone’s game — meaning that I won’t be putting money on Arizona, but I won’t be surprised at all if they make it either. 

Jason Demers is healthy again. Michael Grabner is healthy again. Antti Raanta is getting close. They’ve survived the first of potentially four to six weeks without Derek Stepan, and only lost one game in the process. I think if they put up the kind of performance they did down the back stretch last year, especially with Colorado losing one of their own top-heavy talents and Minnesota and Dallas struggling with consistency, they could easily slip their way in. 

 

Game #69 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Rose Ford is the editor of FiveForHowling.com. Follow her on Twitter @RoseColoredFact.

The Coyotes have had an even weirder start to the season than the Hawks. Their underlying numbers are great, and yet they haven’t scored an even-strength goal in five games. How do you manage that?

If you mean how does the team manage that, the answer is they are cursed. Last October the Coyotes couldn’t buy a save but were scoring 2.5 goals per game. This season their shot suppression and goaltending are great (90.09 sv%) but they’re only scoring 0.6 goals per game. Any time it starts to look like something good is about to happen for the team some other shoe drops.  As for how the fans manage it some are being patient, it is only five games; others are concerned, teams can still play their way out of the playoffs early; and some are ready to panic and want to fire and trade everyone.

The big move of the summer was trading Max Domi for Alex Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk has yet to suit up due to injury, but can you assess the trade anyway because we like making people do unfair things?

The Galchenyuk trade is largely regarded as a win for Arizona’s GM John Chayka. In the fanbase’s view he traded a winger to get a center that has consistently scored 40 or more points in the last four seasons. Max Domi was very much a fan favorite in Arizona for his outgoing personality and friendliness toward the fans, so many will miss him. Most folks recognize that he wasn’t primarily a scorer and scoring is something the team desperately needs, even more so now. If Galchenyuk can consistently get on the scoreboard the fans will like him just as much. It also helps that they are other players on the team that have similar playmaking abilities as Domi, like Dylan Strome.

Dylan Strome spent a majority of last year in the AHL, where he put up 53 points in 50 games. Should we be expecting big things from him this year?

The fanbase hasn’t always been so patient waiting for Dylan Strome to show that he can be an NHL player, let alone a top six center. This season fans are finally starting to see some payoff for the team’s patience. He scored the Coyotes’ first goal and is utterly dominating the league in faceoffs for a player of his age. Although expectations should be tempered it’s difficult not to hope this is his year to shine.

Does Rick Tocchet have any idea what he’s doing? It’s ok you can tell us…

Rick Tocchet had one hell of a baptism by fire last season when he went from the back-to-back cup champions to a team that had 43% roster turnover, six entry-level contract players, and a whole new coaching staff and system. His style of play is a heck of a lot more exciting and entertaining than Dave Tippett’s. Honestly though, ask again after game 25.

Game #6 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Sadly the Canadiens only visit once a season, so we don’t get to talk to our good friend Laura The Active Stick as much as we’d like (@TheActiveStick). But hey, she’s been out drinking with me and lived to tell the tale. More than Fifth Feather and his wrist can say. Let’s see what she has to tell us about the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge.

Here we go again. The Habs are on top of the East to start, their underlying numbers are just north of ok, and everyone’s losing their mud. Other than Price staying healthy, why is this team different from last year’s?

I’m cautiously optimistic. The Canadiens are giving up a lot of shots and struggling with getting out of their own zone. The good news is that I think it’s a strategy issue more than a personnel issue. They need to work on that. The other good news is that Carey Price is their goaltender. Nobody wins a Stanley Cup by themselves, but if one player can, it’s Carey Price. 

Everything Else

expos vs evil empire

Game Time: 6:00PM Central
TV/Radio: WGN Ch. 9, SportsNet, WGN-AM 720
I Get It, French Class: Habs Eyes On The Prize

Once again in the NHL’s infinite brilliance, with the unbalanced divisional schedule in place, they are wiping out an interconference rivalry within the span of 72 hours. And even this time, two teams with ACTUAL history in the Hawks and Habs (apologies to any of the olds now having ’65, ’71, or ’73 flashbacks) as well as some of the most telegenic threads in the sport not getting a national American audience. Better to keep everyone talking about this John Scott waste-of-breath-from-every-conceivable-angle than to actually promote the product using two heritage franchises with history who both have Championship aspirations.